1. We wish to draw the attention of the entire world, particularly that of the Federal Government of Nigeria, French and Italian Republics, English and Dutch Governments, Rivers State Government, National Assembly, diplomatic corps, among others to the unbecoming and wicked attitude of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited.
2. Since the inception of the NLNG, the company has done little or nothing to its wholly host community of Finima, that was sacrificially relocated so that the NLNG could be built, just as the community will host the newly awarded Train 7 that was recently given to a consortium of SCD JV.
3. It will be of interest to note that the good people of Finima have been very peaceful and cooperative, preferring to seek attention through dialogue and decent engagement with the management of NLNG. However, it is obvious that the company has taken the people for granted judging from its posture and utter neglect of its very own host landlords.
4. It is a shame that the NLNG cannot boast of any meaningful project in Finima, neither can the company show any concrete evidence that it has given employment to the vast teeming youth of the community, while participation in the management level is a dream.
5. We have been reliably informed that NLNG Limited has gone behind the host community to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for lands for which they occupy and for which they have not paid a single compensation to the landlord families since the inception of the company over twenty years ago.
6. Even more painful is the fact that NLNG has no respect or regard for the host community as they are treated as third-class citizens on their own land and in their own country by a company that claims to operate using the world best practices as parameters. A Finima daughter who was appointed General Manager, External Relations and who has retired was replaced by a non-Finima person and till date, not a single Finima son or daughter is in the management position and the company is proud of it.
7. In Total E & P, a GM position is reserved for the host community but NLNG which has Total as one of its shareholders is proud that the only Finima daughter that attained the height was retired with no plan to replace her from the community, it goes a long way to truly show that the company is not partnering with its host community as stated on its website.
8. The people of Finima have suffered untold hardship from the hands of a company that has not even shown the people the impact of their operations on their livelihoods and the environment. Daily, the people live in fear, unsure of what will happen now and in the future as regards the presence of such a huge facility on their land.
9. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the community has never been implemented, even as the NLNG claims to have carried out non-existing projects in Finima. We challenge the NLNG to an open audit of its so-called projects in the community and, make them public in the media and their website.
10. The NLNG should be part of the audit to show us how many Finima Community contractors have benefited from 1999 to date and what value compared to all the contracts it has been awarding? How many Finima indigenes are employed at all levels compared to the rest of Nigeria. Charity they say begins at home and it is time for Nigeria LNG to begin to put its money where its mouth is as we have woken up and will sustain this campaign until the company demonstrates the visible change in its approach in relationship with Finima Community
11. The company has signed many agreements it has not honoured, promises it has refused to fulfill, and obligations it shows no interest to see through, yet it claims to be full of Integrity. The community has the least trust NLNG Limited and it will take deliberate efforts by the company to win it back. It is not possible for a tenant to pay rent to someone else. Nigeria LNG had to decide for itself, what is more important to it. Whether it would keep and fulfill its obligations with its landlord and give them their due, not crumbs being offered; while backroom deals are being struck elsewhere or continue to appease others who play purely ceremonial roles and have no say in ensuring the business of Nigeria continues to run smoothly. Nobody can make that choice for the company. If Train 7 fails, the Shareholders of Nigeria LNG will also lose, so no need to play the card of only the community stands to lose. A solution that benefits Finima Community and NLNG in a mutual way is the best option.
12. The company entered into an MOU with the Bonny Kingdom without taking the Finima people along and has surreptitiously been working with forces behind the scene to ensure it never sees the light of day under different excuses including endless litigations and interestingly, the MOU was signed in Naira while the company does business, makes a profit, and pays dividends in US Dollars.
13. Whenever issues are brought up, Nigeria LNG is quick to say matters are in court but whenever it requires land, it abandons that argument; it gives the impression of a company that is not straightforward in its dealings. We challenge Nigeria LNG to prove us otherwise.
14. We shall not hesitate to contact the people who buy it’s products if this trend continues so they can come and see the manner the primary landlords of the gas plant is being treated.
15. Despite the neglect, wickedness, and callousness of the NLNG, the people of Finima has remained peaceful and law-abiding. However, the patience of the people are wearing off, and the youth are now ready to demand their right using all legitimate means possible, including dragging the NLNG before the United Nations and The Hague.
16. The contract for the NLNG Train 7 has been awarded and we are aware that the majority of these jobs are being done outside Rivers State, thus denying the people of Finima and Rivers State at large from enjoying the benefits of their God-given wealth.
17. We are well informed that according to the Local Content Act and Rivers State Employment Law, workers from level 6 downwards are exclusively reserved for the host community and state indigenes. However, this is not so as most of the jobs have been outsourced to non-Rivers people to the exclusion of Finima.
18. The proposed cost and resources required for Train 7 is known, can NLNG make public the expected jobs and contracts for (1) Finima (2) Bonny (3) Rivers State and why it is not in the public domain? There is no plan for the community but they profit from the schism(s) with their local collaborators.
19. It is a shame that with their local collaborators, the community cannot boast of manned secondary class medical facility nor even be assured of means of a ferry across the channel. Every family and community has its internal contradictions, we are mindful of all those fanning our differences, while they forget that we are related and eat from each other’s pot. When we play Nwoatam, we are not Brown, Attoni nor Tobin; we are cousins and we will overcome.
20. We are using this opportunity to call on the management of the NLNG to borrow a leaf from Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited that encouraged its host community to set up an investment company to manage dividends accruing the company to the people. It is shameful, to say the least, that NLNG values its products and sells in dollars but wants to pay Finima in naira. What a firm?
21. The investors are world-class firms and it is expected that Finima be treated the way they handle affairs that affect them and not hide behind communal differences. Kalibiama and others are dealt with on their own merit, but Finima must be tied to apron strings of non-landlords, such oppression in modern-day civilization.
22. We are tired of the divide and rule tactics of the NLNG’s management and their willing collaborators, who have brought nothing but pain, agony, and anguish upon the people. Our case is that of someone bathing by the river, yet soap is still entering his eyes. The company has brought no joy to the people, simple.
23. We are using this opportunity to call on the relevant government agencies that the patience of Finima people is waning and our next line of action will follow legitimate means of holding NLNG accountable for its deeds.
24. Unfortunately, some of the shareholders of the NLNG have terrible records when it comes to dealing with host communities and it is not surprising therefore that this attitude is being deployed to undo the peace-loving people of Finima, who were even evacuated from their ancestral lands to give way for the company to operate without any commensurate benefits to the people.
24. However, we hold the firm belief that we are on the right track in demanding what are legitimately our benefits and we will never allow fifth columnists to derail our genuine aspiration as generations unborn will never forgive us if we don’t seize this opportunity.
25. We encourage Nigeria LNG to read through all the agreements and commitments it has made with the community and all the promises that it has not kept from 1999 till date as we will make them public for the world to see and decide whether the company is truly what it portrays itself to be. Nigeria LNG, we are waiting.
26. At the appointed time, we shall match to all the facilities of NLNG in Finima and let the whole world hear and see our plight.
The Finima Renaissance